Captain Michael Alexander of the Special Boat Service. He was captured in North Africa, and as a Commando he would have expected death rather than prison as Germany did not have a favourable view towards their activities. When he was informed of the likelihood of this fact, Corporal Gurney, who had been captured with his Captain, had a flash of inspiration and declared, entirely falsely, that his officer was related to General Harold Alexander, the then commander of the 8th Army. He was swiftly visited by Field Marshall Rommel and General Westphal, and the decision was taken not to execute both men in the field, but instead transfer them to a German prison. What became of Gurney has not been established, but Alexander was transferred to Colditz to join the Prominente; a body of prisoners, all possessing influential connections with senior Allied figures, who were to be held as potential bargaining chips should the need ever arise. At Colditz, Alexander and those like him were kept in somewhat more elevated conditions than the other prisoners enjoyed and a few special privileges were extended to them, however they were kept separate from their fellow inmates and their obvious "hostage" status and the uncertainty of their future loomed ominously over their heads. During the night on Thursday 12th April 1945, as American gunfire was heard in the distance, the prisoners were, in spite of threats made to the Kommandant by Colonel Willie Tod, the Senior British Officer, led away from Colditz by the SS guards on the direct orders of Hitler and Himmler. The group made their way towards the mountains and the Berchtesgaden, from where it had been much touted that Hitler and his close followers would make their last stand. In the event all was lost for Germany and Hitler ordered that the Prominente were all to be killed. Obergruppenführer Gottlob Berger, a General of the SS, personally broke this news to the prisoners, but then informed them that he would not carry out his order. Instead he loaded the Prominente aboard two lorries and provided them with an armed escort, who were under orders to fire on any who opposed them. The convoy headed towards the American lines and they were soon safe and in their hands.